Rumors Swirl That the New Voice of Mario’s Been Found, but the Actor Denies It

Who is Mario, really? It’s a question the internet has been asking since the retirement of long-time Mario voice actor Charles Martinet, as they pondered who might be replacing him as the voice of the iconic Nintendo plumber. And it’s a question I’ve been obsessed with for the last 12 hours or so. Earlier today, both the internet and I thought we had finally found the answer in an actor named Mick Wingert. But Wingert’s denial of his own potential Mario-ness has once again thrown me (and now all of you) into total bafflement, and now I’m just begging Nintendo to ‘fess up and tell us who could possibly be taking over for Martinet.

The rumors about Wingert and Mario kicked off very early today, with the circulation of an as-yet-unconfirmed list of voice actors supposedly from the credits of upcoming game Super Mario Bros. Wonder. As reported by VGC, this list is allegedly pulled from a kiosk demo and lists all the game’s voice actors. However, the list seems to be in alphabetical order by last name, and does not include what roles each person is playing. Great.

A number of internet sleuths, myself included, have torn the list apart, built spreadsheets, and combed IMDB pages and demo reels trying to figure out which one of its 21 actors was Mario, but the results thus far have been inconclusive. Some names are familiar and easily to rule out, such as Caety Sagoian, Kenny James, and Samantha Kelly likely reprising their performances of Bowser Jr., Bowser, and Peach and the Toads respectively. Other names, such as Anton Kobylko, Ewout Eggink, and Rafa Parra are less familiar, but primarily voice roles in other languages. While we can’t rule any of these folks out fully, it’s easy to assume that all the international actors are voicing Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s talkative Wonder Flower in their respective languages.

Finally, there are a handful of women on the list such as Dawn M. Bennet, Christine Marie Cabanos, and Giselle Fernandez. And while women can certainly be anything they want to be, including Mario, it’s a bit less likely that Nintendo would cast a woman in the role of Mario, Luigi, and Wario. For the sake of ruling folks out, I passed on their names for the time being.

All this left me, and seemingly every other internet sleuth, with two names: Kevin Afghani and Mick Wingert, neither of whom has appeared in a Mario game before. While either performer is a possibility to play Mario, Afghani’s voice demo reel sounds remarkably similar to the English voice of the Wonder Flower we’ve heard in trailers, and Mick Wingert’s demonstrated role range and extensive past experience seems a likely fit for a role spanning not just Mario, but Baby Mario, Luigi, Wario, and other characters as well. Had we all found our man? I reached out to Nintendo for comment, and heard nothing back.

But I also reached out to Wingert’s agent, Epoch Talent, and here’s where things get goofy. Mick Wingert’s official, on the record response was that while he can neither confirm nor deny his involvement in Super Mario Bros. Wonder, “he can confirm that he is NOT voicing Mario.”

So who is Mario?

Wait, what? So who is Mario, then? I’m flummoxed! It felt so obvious! Wingert’s a prolific actor with a boatload of game credits — more than anyone else in the rumored cast list. He’s been in Starfield, Diablo 4, Dead Island 2, Diablo Immortal, Deadcraft, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and has performed in animation in Arcane, Marvel’s What If…?, and took over from Jack Black in Kung Fu Panda.

It’s not impossible that he would show up for Super Mario Bros. Wonder just to voice, I dunno, a couple squeaky Popplin sounds, but it’s not the most likely explanation. Is he replacing long-time Yoshi actor Kazumi Tokata, who isn’t on the list anywhere? Or is he the Wonder Flower while Afghani is the actual Mario? That seems more likely, but Afghani just sounds so much like the flower. Maybe Afghani is both the Flower and Mario, and Wingert is doing something else?

Who is succeeding Charles Martin as the voice of Mario? No one seems to know.

But… what about the rest of the cast list? Could Mario be Portuguese voice actor Luis Barros, who voiced Mario in the Portguese language version of the Super Mario Bros. Movie? Could he be Paolo de Santis, an Italian voice actor who’s done Italian voice roles for Nintendo before in games like Everybody’s 1-2-Switch and Star Fox Zero? Did Kenny James, Samantha Kelly, or Caetty Sagoian add a new role to their respective repertoirs? Is Mario Jinji Kitajima, who played Zant in Twilight Princess and whose last credited role is from Donkey Kong Barrel Blast in 2007? Is Mario a lady? Sure! It could be any one of these people at this point! The list could be fake! Nintendo could have left Mario off the actor list entirely!

Maybe Wingert is Mario, and I’m the victim of a technicality where Wingert isn’t technically “Mario”, his official role is “Mario and Luigi and Wario” or something like that! I don’t know anymore!


We’ve reached out to Nintendo for comment but did not hear back in time for publication. We’ve also reached out to several of the remaining most likely voice candidates on this list, but have not yet heard back from them either. We recently published our final preview of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, which you should absolutely read for more information about the game itself, even if it will not help you in learning who Mario is.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder represents a passing of the torch for Mario’s iconic voice from Charles Martinet, who began voicing Mario in 1994’s Mario Teaches Typing. Nintendo announced his retirement from the role earlier this year, saying he would shift into the role of Mario Ambassador going forward to “travel the world sharing the joy of Mario.”

If that sounds a bit vague to you, you’re not alone, as Martinet himself has admitted he doesn’t really know what the role is all about. Just like we don’t know who Mario really is. Tough world out there.

Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].

Check out our Latest News and Follow us at Facebook

Original Source

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *